I’m in the backseat of our car with the kiddo. My husband is driving and my co-pastor is in the passenger seat. We’re on our way back home after having attended an installation service. I’m glad we made the trip. We were the only clergy not on the commission who did. We were motivated, in part, because our own installation is a month away. But I hope I’ll make an effort at other times as well.
Ministry can be so lonely. Celebrations like installations remind us we’re not in this alone no matter how any given day might feel. The weight of so many hands laid upon us drives this home.
The very ministry model to which I have been called also drives this home. Though we rarely lead worship together, we share the load. We brainstorm together. After having served for years as a solo pastor this is both a great gift and a challenge. I have to unlearn old habits of having a hand in every pot. I have to be o.k. with entrusting half of the pastoral care to someone else- not making the visits and calls that build relationships with half the people. I have to communicate, communicate, communicate… But all of this is good ministry practice- even for a solo pastor. No one can do it all alone. This is why we Presbys ordain lay folks… Ministry is a shared endeavor. My over functioning, hyper-responsible self is being re-formed by virtue of the collegial relationships with which I am blessed. Thanks be to God.
This isn’t easy… But change never is. And I am so grateful I’m being changed. May it ever continue.